I have read this book several times and the last time was in December 2016. This is the review from that reading
Maya Angelou writes of her first 16 years of life. She and her brother were sent to live with their grandmother in Arkansas. She said about this experience, "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat."
She was raped at the age of eight when in St. Louis with her mother. She dealt with the trauma with a self -imposed muteness. Each day she would escape to the library where she read everything she could and where she memorized and recited great works of literature and poetry. Reciting was her way of regaining her speech.
Discrimination was a way of life and the races didn't mix. The community lived with the fear of lynchings. Family's where she lived took care of their own. She attended revival meetings, had a strong belief in God and felt that He had a covenant with children, and this included Negroes, and those that were crippled. She had a child at age 16.
She is best known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman.
"The Caged Bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom" - Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years.
Born: April 4, 1928, St. Louis, MO
Died: May 28, 2014, Winston-Salem, NC
People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.